This book provides a comprehensive guide to selected topics, both ongoing and emerging, in pervasive computing and networking. It contains contributions from high profile researchers and is edited by leading experts in this field. The main topics covered in the book include pervasive computing and systems, pervasive networking security, and pervasive networking and communication.
In 1991, Mark Weiser described his vision of an emerging world of pervasive,
embedded computation. He predicted “a physical world that is richly and invisibly
interwoven with sensors, actuators, displays, and computational elements, embedded
seamlessly in the everyday objects of our lives and connected through a continuous
The field of information and communication technologies continues to evolve and
grow in both the research and the practical domains. However, energy efficiency is an
aspect in communication technologies that until recently was only considered for
embedded, mobile or handheld battery constraint devices.
Growth naturally stimulates change, and CCTV technology has
been no exception. A system that once merely required cameras,
cabling, and video monitors has now become a complex electronic
confi guration of equipment intertwined with both computer and
telecommunications technologies. This dramatic change is directly
related to the introduction of digital technology. Why do we need
to understand how digital technology works, and what does it
have to do with the future of security? It’s simple—the newest
revolution in technology is pervasive computing.
The use of radio-frequency communication—commonly referred to
as wireless communication—is becoming more pervasive as well as more
economically and socially important. Technological progress over many
decades has enabled the deployment of several successive generations
of cellular telephone technology, which is now used by many billions
of people worldwide; the near-universal addition of wireless local area
networking to personal computers; and a proliferation of actual and proposed
uses of wireless communications.
Over the past decade, there has been a prolific increase in the research, development
and commercialisation of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) and their associated technologies
(see Figure 1). This rise has been a result of a number of contributing factors,
including continued miniaturisation (leading towards an era of truly ‘pervasive’ and
‘invisible’ computing); low-power circuits, devices and computation (for example, the
ultra-low-power sleep states now found in microcontrollers); and efficient short-range
communication (such as ZigBee and Bluetooth).
Most important, the need of creating network effects in the development of a cloud
platform will keep low the margins for a while and will maximize the speed of diffu-
sion of cloud computing between firms at the global level. Therefore, in the long run,
we expect a rather competitive situation on the supply side of cloud computing.
In front of these rapid evolution, it is crucial to understand the economic impact
of the introduction of this general purpose technology. For sure, the diffusion of
cloud computing is going to create a solid and pervasive impact on the global econ-
This book is about the second age of the Internet as it descends from the firmament and becomes
embedded in everyday life. A decade ago, the first age of the Internet was a bright light shining
above everyday concerns. It was a technological marvel bringing a new Enlightenment to
transform the world, just as the printing press fostered the original Enlightenment a halfmillennium
ago in Renaissance times (McLuhan 1962).
Sensor networks and pervasive computing systems intimately
combine computation, communication and interactions with the physical
world, thus increasing the complexity of the development effort, violating
communication protocol layering, and making traditional network
diagnostics and debugging less effective at catching problems. Tighter
coupling between communication, computation, and interaction with the
physical world is likely to be an increasing trend in emerging edge networks
and pervasive systems.